MARINA MAGALHÃES is border-crosser, bridge-builder, and dance-and-change-maker from Brazil, based in Los Angeles. Her unapologetically feminist and latinx work has been shared throughout Los Angeles (REDCAT Theater, Ford Amphitheatre, Zipper Concert Hall, Highways Performance Space, UCLA Fowler Museum, Blaktina Festival), San Francisco (CounterPulse, Yerba Buena Night, Dance Mission Theater), New York (Bowery Ballroom), Brazil (Universidade do Rio De Janeiro, Centro de Teatro do Oprimido, and Parque das Ruínas in Rio), Cuba (Teatro Favorito in La Havana), South Africa (The Wits Theatre in Johannesburg and My Body My Space Festival in Mpumalanga), Botswana (Maitisong Festival in Gabarone) and France (University of the Arts MFA program in Montpellier). She was awarded the LA Weekly Theater Award for Best Choreography in 2013 for her original work in the pop musical phenomenon “Patty! The Revival”.
In 2014 she received the Pennington Dance Group Space Grant @ ARC and the UCLA Hothouse Residency to create her critically acclaimed work, (UN)BRIDALED. Hailed as "the type of show that keeps concert dance relevant in our lives" by LA Dance Review and "an unrivaled dance theater experience" by Theatre Ghost, (UN)BRIDALED was adapted with a cast of South African women and performed at The Wits Theatre's Human Rights & Social Justice Season 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. There, it was hailed as "riveting... a physical and emotional feat" by Creative Feel magazine. In 2017 she began a multi-year choreography residency with the LA-based Viver Brasil Dance Company, who commissioned Cor Da Pele, a dance concert work selected by the National Endowment for the Arts as one of the top 40 best choreographic works of 2018. Other choreography credits include collaborations with visual artist Carolina Caycedo on the experimental film Apariciones / Apparitions (commissioned by The Huntington Library and officially selected for the Motion Capture series at Highways Space), music videos for the YouTube sensation Watsky (including “Moral of the Story” with over 9 million views), and live tours nation-wide with the rising East LA-based band Las Cafeteras.
Magalhães holds a B.A. in World Arts and Cultures with a Dance Concentration from UCLA, where she was the recipient of the international Moss Scholarship ($76,000) and had the opportunity to study with renowned artists such as David Rousseve, Victoria Marks, Barak Marshall, Susan Foster, Rennie Harris, Ronit Ziv, Maria Gillespie, and Cheng-Chieh Yu. Additionally, she has trained extensively in contemporary dance with Maria Bauman, House and Hip Hop with Jackie "Miss Funk" Lopez of Versa-Style, Afro-Brazilian dance with Rosangela Silvestre & Vera Passos of Bahia, Brazil, and conducted separate two-month long apprenticeships with Urban Bush Women in NYC and Gregory Maqoma of Vuyani Dance Theatre in South Africa in 2016. She is also an alum of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Emerging Leaders Institute (2014) & Director's Lab West (2014).
For seven years, Magalhães worked with CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater as a Performer, Teaching Artist, Resident Choreographer, Director of Arts Education, Assistant Artistic Director and ultimately Artistic Director Interim, playing a crucial role in the company’s development of a unique and powerful dance activist methodology. Magalhães has also performed in works by Victoria Marks (Smallest Gesture, Grandest Frame, voted runner-up in REDCAT Theater’s A.W.A.R.D. show in 2011), Viver Brasil Dance Company (alongside Grammy Award-winning artist Sergio Mendes at the world-famous 18,000 seat theater Hollywood Bowl), as a guest soloist with Maria Bauman's MBDance Company, and as a guest artist with Bessie Award-winning choreographer Joya Powell and her company Movement Of The People.
Magalhães is a dedicated and experienced educator whose unique and inclusive approach to movement has been shared throughout the world. Her on-going movement research is called Dancing Diaspora, based on the fundamental belief that decolonization is inherently a transformative and futuristic process of reinventing and reclaiming tradition, and like the word diaspora communicates, it seeks to embody past and future, tradition and creativity, ancestry and individuality. In 2017 & 2018, Magalhães received the California Arts Council Artists In Communities award to provide the Dancing Diaspora class at Pieter Space free of charge, which she is currently offering a weekly basis. Additionally, Magalhães has taught in over twenty-five K-12 schools and designed dozens of original curricula that introduce young people to yoga and meditation, creative movement, and dance as resistance. Magalhães has taught Latin American Social Dances as Adjunct Faculty at various universities, including California State Polytechnic University of Pomona, Occidental College, Scripps College, and where she currently lectures, UC Riverside. She is a co-founder and faculty of UCLA Department of World Arts & Cultures's Travel Study program, which brings college students to study at the renowned Center for Theater of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is also a certified yoga instructor and a founding teacher of the East LA-based People's Yoga studio since 2014.
While Magalhães is based in Los Angeles, she has special ties to Latin America and especially Brazil, her native country, as she routinely travels to conduct her artistic research and share her work.